What's the story?
India's men's doubles pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan were defeated in the final of the 2020 International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) World Tour Hungarian Open and had to settle for a silver.
In case you didn't know
The 2020 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open is being held at Budapest, Hungary. The main draw for the tournament started on 20th February and runs till 23rd February and was preceded by the qualifiers on 18th and 19th February.
India participated in all the disciplines (singles and doubles) at the tournament. Having failed to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in the team event, the Indian paddlers were keen to show their potential and gain confidence before the Olympic qualifiers for the individual events.
Heart of the matter
India's ace men's doubles pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Gnanasekaran Sathiyan went down fighting in the final of the 2020 ITTF World Tour Hungarian Open. With this loss, India's hunt for an ITTF World men's doubles title remained elusive and they had to settle for a silver.
In the final encounter, the Indian pair lost to the second seeded German pair of Benedikt Duda and Patrick Franziska 5-11, 9-11, 11-8, 9-11.
After losing the first 2 games, the Indian duo fought back to claim the third game and raised hopes of a comeback. But the German pair won the close fourth game 11-9 and with it the match to stifle the spirited resistance from the Indians.
Earlier the Sharath-Sathiyan pair had upset the top-seeded Hong Kong pair of Kwan Kit Ho and Chun Ting Wong 11-7, 12-10, 4-11, 4-11, 11-9 in the semi finals to reach the finals.
It was a good tournament for Sharath as he had also reached the mixed doubles semi finals with Manika Batra.
The excellent performance of the Indian paddlers at the Hungarian Open would have given them the much needed confidence ahead of the Olympic qualifiers.
The Asian zone Olympic qualification event will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 6th to 12th April.
Although the men's doubles event is not part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, the Indian players would be hoping to make the grade for the quadrennial event in the men's singles, women's singles and mixed doubles events.Published 23 Feb 2020, 10:49 IST